How to keep your reusable bags clean

It’s all very well going plastic free, but when you’re stacking your raw meat in a bag, do you ever wonder if it’s going to make the bag unusable as a result? Bacterial infection is a real thing, and the next time you use that bag for your apples and oranges (or your wet togs and gross smelly shoes!) you need to be sure there are no nasties lurking in amongst the reusable bags that sit in your car (usually in the hot sun), ready for your next shop.

With so many shops and supermarkets going plastic bag free, here are a few tips from the team at Pak ‘n’ Save and New World, who have teamed up with plant-based homecare brand Seventh Generation, to keep you and your family safe this summer with some simple tips to keep your reusable bags clean.

  • Plain cotton and hemp bags can be cleaned in a washing machine. Put through on a cold water wash, and hang them out to dry.
  • Printed bags are best tested in a cold hand wash first; this way you’re less likely for the print to fade.
  • Non-woven reusable polypropylene bags and nylon bags don’t do well in a washing machine. Hand wash and hang out to dry, as they will melt in a dryer.
  • All bags, including recycled PET (plastic), jute, hemp or polypropylene can be handwashed in warm water.
  • Air dry all bags rather than stick them in the dryer. New Zealand sunlight is a great disinfectant, and there’s nothing so lovely as the fresh washed smell of summer!